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BJU Int. 2000 Jan;85(1):130-8.

Establishment and characterization of seven human renal cell carcinoma cell lines.

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Laboratory of Cell Biology, Cancer Research Center and Cancer Research Institute, Korean Cell Line Bank, Seoul National University College of Medicine.



To establish human renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cell lines, and to investigate the cell phenotypes and molecular characteristics of human RCC cell lines and their corresponding tumour tissues.


Seven human RCC cell lines from pathologically proven RCCs were established. The histopathology of the primary tumours, in vitro growth characteristics and status of tumour suppressor genes, mismatch repair genes and microsatellite instability (MSI) were examined in cell lines and their corresponding tumour tissues. Five of the cell lines were derived from clear cells (SNU-228, -267, -328, -349, and -1272), one from granular cells (SNU-482), and one from mixed clear and granular cell types (SNU-333). The mutational status was compared for von Hippel-Lindau (VHL), p53, TGF-beta type II receptor (TGF-betaRII), hMSH2, and hMLH1 genes in the cell lines and their corresponding tumour tissues. The MSI status of the cell lines was determined by screening for adenine repeat sequences, e.g. BAT-25, BAT-26, and BAT-40.


All lines showed different doubling times and were confirmed by DNA fingerprinting analysis to be unique. Contamination by mycoplasma or bacteria was excluded. In two cell lines (SNU-349 and -1272) and their tumour tissues, mutations in the VHL gene were found. The SNU-267 line had a frameshift mutation in the p53 gene. A missense mutation of the TGF-betaRII gene was detected in the SNU-1272 line and the corresponding tissue. Analysis of the repeat sequences showed one cell line (SNU-349) to have MSI and the other six to have microsatellite stability. As MSI is a hallmark of the inactivation of mismatch repair genes, the presence of hMSH2 and hMLH1 mutations was investigated in all seven cell lines. An inactivating homozygous single base-pair deletion of the hMLH1 gene was found only in the SNU-349 cell line and corresponding tissue. Moreover, a frameshift mutation within an 8-bp polyadenine repeat present in the hMSH3 coding region was found only in the MSI cell line and tumour tissue.


These newly established RCC cell lines should provide a useful in vitro model for studies related to human RCC. The SNU-349 cell line should be especially useful for studies of MSI and mismatch repair-defective RCCs.

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